The holiday season is upon us, and for many, that means heading home to spend time with family. While the holidays are often portrayed as a time of joy and togetherness, the reality can be a bit more complex, especially if you’re dealing with less-than-healthy family dynamics. Here are five ways to take care of yourself and maintain your well-being during the holiday hustle.
**1. Set Boundaries, Set Freedom: One of the best gifts you can give yourself is the freedom to set boundaries. It’s okay to establish limits on certain topics of conversation or even the duration of your stay. Be clear and assertive about what you need to feel comfortable and respected. Have a listen to today’s show for more details on this.
**2. Create Your Safe Haven: Identify a space where you can retreat when things get overwhelming. Whether it’s a cozy corner in the house, a nearby park, or even a local coffee shop, having a designated safe haven allows you to take a breather and collect your thoughts. Just KNOWING you have a “boundary” of separation and regrouping time can help you feel more glued together and less anxious or stressed.
**3. Mindful Escapes: Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. Whether it’s a short meditation, a mindful walk, or a few moments of deep breathing, these small escapes can be powerful tools to ground yourself and stay centered amidst familial chaos. This is basically also helping you get out of the fight/flight/freeze mode you might find yourself in, regardless of anything unhealthy that is happening that moment. Just the memories of what happened in the past can trigger people.
**4. Lean on Support Systems: Reach out to friends or supportive family members who understand the challenges you may face. Having a chat or spending time with people who provide a different perspective can be a refreshing break and a reminder that you’re not alone. I always encourage clients to plan ahead to check in often if needed throughout their time with family, so they can remain grounded, and get support making quick decisions of things become too unhealthy.
**5. Self-Care Rituals: Prioritize self-care rituals that bring you comfort and joy. It could be anything from savoring a cup of tea, reading a book, or taking a long bath. These simple acts of self-kindness can recharge your spirit and help you face family dynamics with resilience. Again, since most unhealthy families lack boundaries, just by you honoring your own boundaries and creating separate mental and emotional space that mimics how you feel in your own home (assuming that’s healthier!) can be very helpful.
Remember, the holidays are about celebrating, but that celebration should extend to your well-being. By proactively caring for yourself, you’re better equipped to navigate family dynamics and find moments of joy in the midst of it all. Here’s to a holiday season filled with self-love and understanding! 🌟